The Vikings currently sit at +5,000 to win the Super Bowl on BetMGM Sportsbook, the same odds that they had before free agency had begun. While Spielman did start off the free agency period with a great signing in Dalvin Tomlinson, it quickly turned south with a horrible waste of cap space when signing Patrick Peterson.
At this point, the Vikings are miles behind the Packers, who sit at -250 for odds to win the division, The Vikings at +450, just have not made the moves necessary in free agency to compete. This was compacted with a bad signing of Patrick Peterson.
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However, let us break down the five reasons that the Patrick Peterson deal was a mistake for the Vikings.
1. One-Year Deal with No voidable Years to Spread Out Cap Hit
The biggest issue with this deal is the lack of creativity. I get why you would not want to sign Patrick Peterson to a two-year deal. However, because of that, you cannot spread out the cap hit when the cap is projected to raise $40-50 million, at least, next year. The Vikings should have taken a play out of the Saints’ playbook and added a ridiculous voidable year, which Peterson would have signed since he did a one-year deal anyway. This would add a dead cap hit for next year when the Vikings cut him, but who cares? There is so much more wiggle room next year. Cap space is insanely tight with the reduction due to COVID. Therefore, if you want to compete this year, then you got to push money down the road, and the Vikings did not.
2. Aging Cornerback Who Has Been Regressing
Patrick Peterson has looked worse each of the last two years, with last year being a giant step down. Peterson reminded me of a slightly better version of Xaiver Rhodes when he fell off a cliff with the Vikings. Now, Rhodes took a step up when he moved to a relaxed zone scheme with the Colts, but why are you paying 5% of your cap to a guy you need to scheme around to look good. Patrick Peterson is not a lockdown corner, he is not even a good man-cover corner anymore. He played on par with Jeff Gladney in man coverage, which is not a compliment if you watched the Vikings last year.
3. No, he Will Not Play Safety, and if He Did, it Makes the Deal Worse
For some reason, Vikings fans have this idea that Peterson can play safety. Not only was this debunked by Courtney Cronin, a Vikings reporter, but it also would make the deal look worse. Why are you paying $10 million a year to a guy to play safety? It looks especially bad when you could have resigned an actual safety in Anthony Harris for half of that or gone after Keanu Neal for half of that. This is a silly point that does nothing for the argument of Patrick Peterson being a good signing.
4. Offensive Linemen/Edge Made Much More Sense
My biggest issue is the fact that the Vikings clearly could have spent this $10 million in cap space on the offensive line or edge. While yes, the Vikings could make some more cap space with extensions to Thielen and Smith, they have already missed on some amazing free agents.
The worst example of this is Carl Lawson. He signed a 3 yr/$45 million deal with the Jets. This offer could have easily been made to Lawson by the Viking with a $10 million cap hit for this year. This would equate to roughly a $17 million cap hit each of the next two following seasons. This is more than fair for one of the best young defensive linemen in the game, a guy who would have perfectly fit on the edge. He also would have made more of an impact in the passing game than Peterson, as Lawson’s pressure rate is more impressive than Peterson’s coverage ability.
5. Kyle Fuller’s Deal Was Cheaper, and He’s a Much Better Player Right Now
The nail in the coffin for Rick Spielman had to be the fact that Kyle Fuller was released a day later and then signed with the Broncos for less money on the same kind of one-year deal. Fuller also had a slight decline last year but still was a shutdown man-coverage corner. He is a true number one and rated out above-average last year with a 64.1 grade, according to PFF. Meanwhile, Patrick Peterson was barely average at 55.2.
This idea that Patrick Peterson is worth more because he used to be better is ridiculous. Players do not improve with age in the secondary. That simply is a false idea that does not exist in the NFL.